Fullback Gerard McCallum starred for his team as the Easts Tigers put in a comprehensive performance against the Northern Pride to claim a 42-12 win.
The home side dominated from the outset and were able to score within the opening three minutes when a Brodie Croft kick was allowed to bounce by the Pride.
Landing in no-man’s land and with the sun in the eyes of the fullback – it was a difficult ball to defend and the bounce could not have been crueller for Pride fullback Khan Ahwang. For the Tigers however, it was perfect as it ended in the arms of Gerard McCallum who was in to score the first of his three tries for the day.
Their next however came from brute strength, with Dean Britt forcing his has through defenders to plant the ball.
The Tigers were leading 12-0 after 10 minutes, but the Pride got themselves into the game when Ahwang stepped his way around would-be tacklers before running in to score.
However, that was to be it for the Pride in the first half, while the Tigers would run in three more to finish the half up 30-6.
While the first came from a controversial video referee decision to award McCallum a penalty try, the second was nicely set-up by a Brodie Croft 40/20 kick. The Tigers were in almost the next play with a nice ball from Tommy Butterfield finding big Matt Zgrajewski open and in over the chalk.
A confident Tigers outfit were keen to show off their skills before the break and the last try of the half saw them impress with their ball movement with Connor Carey the one to eventually score for his side.
On the back foot for much of the first half, things did not start well for the Pride with a dropped ball from the kick off in the second half indicative of their afternoon.
One player to start up for the visitors though was late addition Ben Spina (18th Man for the Cowboys in their game against the Titans), whose customary defensive efforts and work rate helped stem the flow of points from the Tigers.
The Pride would cross once more in the 59th minute with Ahwang reaching out for his double – but for the most part the Tigers were able to defend all that was thrown their way.
Easts thought, still had time to boost their score, with XXXX man of the match McCullum scoring his “hat-trick” after benefitting from some good lead-up play from half Billy Walters and Croft capping a strong game with a try in the closing moments of the match.
Next week, the Tigers travel to Townsville to take on the Blackhawks, while the Northern Pride are at home and host a desperate Burleigh outfit who will be hungry for their first win.
EASTS TIGERS 42 (Gerard McCallum 2 tries and penalty try, Dean Britt, Matt Zgrajewski, Conor Carey, Brodie Croft tries; Billy Walters 7 goals) def NORTHERN PRIDE 12 (Khan Ahwang 2 tries; Khan Ahwang 2 goals) at Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park.